Seven in 10 agents fail to use video or YouTube to assist in their marketing according to an analysis by free-to-list portal Residential People.
The research looked at over 3,000 agency websites and the results prompted the portal’s co-founder and director Christopher May to describe video-sharing network YouTube is arguably “one of the best” social media platforms for increasing an agency’s online presence.
"Our research highlighted that commercial agencies were the worst offenders, with only 1 in 10 using YouTube to promote their brand and their properties to let and for sale" he says.
Of those agencies with a dedicated YouTube presence, many upload only one or two videos.
"This leads us to believe agents do not put enough emphasis on this type of marketing. As we evolve as a portal, we want to introduce agents to more features that they can use to get a better online presence with easy-to-use tools that can help reduce their advertising costs” says May.
Residential People says that much of the portal sector’s strength comes from using sophisticated SEO techniques which are typically kept ‘secret’ by SEO specialists and website developers who charge customers heavily for their expertise.
However, May says his service and its facilities like an automated video generator can help agents raise their online profile for lower costs.
He cites an early adopter of the portal for marketing - Belvoir Leicester Central.
"We have had our eyes opened by the residential team who are well-trained and the advice we got from them was second-to-none," says local Belvoir franchisee Sharanjit Gill.
"When it came to rethinking our marketing and SEO strategy going forward, the portal's marketing tools helped us tremendously. [Its] toolset allowed us to deliver a more compelling offering and appeal to more potential customers and clients" says Gill.
May says with the estate and lettings agency industry going through unprecedented change, in the shape of the lettings fee ban and the likelihood of increased regulation through qualifications and licensing, it’s imperative that individual firms improve their online presence.
"To minimise the risk to your business, it is crucial that you cut your cloth accordingly, and most importantly, try and win new instructions and become more profitable” he suggests.
"Profitability can come from several avenues, but one of the simplest ways to achieve this is by offering your customers excellent service and increasing your online presence.”